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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Whoop Em!

Whatever happened to beating your kids? I'm not talking about punching them in the face for getting B's on their AP Calculus pop quiz, but I am talking about taking them home and physically reinforcing who's boss when they curse you out in the middle of a crowded supermarket. This NY Times article talks about kids who "act out" in public and the reaction from individual adults around them as well as society's reaction as a collective. I feel that this is particularly pertinent to life here at Harvard where spoiled, impolite kids comfortable in their privilege abound (disregard age...I don't care if you're 21 or 12). From the children of house masters, visiting scholars, and resident tutors running amuck to final clubs members too drunk with elitism to lift up their feet for their mansions’ janitor, some people just need a good whooping to get across things that aren’t sinking in verbally through reasoned requests. There are many a time when I and numerous peers of mine here have had to endure racism, impoliteness, or other snubs and not retaliate by knocking some sense into the punk(s) that did it. It's a daily struggle...

3 Comments:

At 1:05 AM, Blogger andrew golis said...

Are you really saying we should beat up people who don't listen? That seems a bit counterproductive don't you think? Kids who are taught violence become violent (and learn to speak that language and communicate in that manner instead of other ways). In terms of snobs and/or racists, it kind of depends what your point is. Even if they are deserving of a little pop (true maybe for a racist but certainly not a Final Club member), what's the point? Do you really think that communicates anything?

If it's anti-racist violence that has a political end, that's a big conversation. If it's simple reactionary anti-racist violence I'm not sure it does anyone any good...

 
At 5:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i disagree. final club members are MOST DESERVING of a little pop.

 
At 10:51 AM, Blogger Jersey Slugger said...

The power of violence, when properly employed, can have a huge effect on individuals and bodies of individuals that one seeks to impact. This is historical fact and should not be new to any student of U.S. history from Frederick Douglass lashing back at his master (and subsequently never again being beaten by him) to Al-Quaeda purportedly crashing four U.S. planes into different parts of the nation and starting a global war on terrorism that has since taken many, many more lives than the original attacks on September 11, 2001. Violence IS a way to get to people that wouldn't listen otherwise. Did Bush really care enough about Bin Laden pre-9/11 to start a worldwide search for him that has already spawned two regime changes in distant countries and may bring about even more? Not at all.

For final club members and your average impolite snob on campus here, the "pop" would knock some sense into people and let them not what happens to people in many communities (both internationally and domestically) when disrespect occurs. In many situations in neighborhoods like mine, people are overly polite and cautious (in certain situations) because they know that little things like lightly bumping against someone while walking by or not holding a door for someone on their way inside a building can quickly snowball into something dangerous or even fatal. As you said, Andrew, kids who are taught violence (do you mean literally taught by older people in their communities, taught through personal experience with and exposure to violence, or "taught" in the desensitizing sense through popular media?) do often communicate that way. Not because it's the only way they know how to communicate, often, but because they understand how basic it is to perform and the immediate results that can be gained from its employ (at least on an individual or small gropu level). Albeit, they sometimes underestimate its future ramifications.

 

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